Charley has developed this habit of rubbing his nose against anything and everything–us, of course, the door, a wall, the carpet–and he’s rubbed all the hair off the end of his nose. So I took the boy and his poor bald nose to the vet, and the vet said it was likely that Charley was allergic to the plastic feeding bowl I’d been using–for years, I might add.
Now–to feed a mastiff, you need to elevate the bowl, so they don’t have to bend down and gulp lots of air with the food. So I set my dogs’ big bowls on the top of those huge buckets that chlorine tablets come in so the bowls are about two feet in the air. (You can see the OLD feeding bowl in the background of the BD hat picture.)
Trouble is, it’s hard to find a bowl big enough to fit snugly into the top of one of those huge buckets. Every time I visit the pet store, either the bowls were too small, they were plastic, or they weren’t round.
But last weekend I got lucky. I bought two new stainless steel bowls and gave one to Babe, one to Charley. Babe looked at hers suspiciously for a minute or two, then she threw caution to the wind and chowed down.
Last night when I tried to feed Charley . . . he was scared of his bowl. So Babe promptly ran in and scarfed down his dinner, clearing saying, “If you’re not going to eat it . . . stand aside.”
Charley’s bowl is next to his bed, which is surrounded by this huge folding exercise pen that functions as his crate at night. So last night I put a nice doggie bone, which he loves, in the bowl, and penned Charley in his crate with the Unfamiliar Evil. Tough love.
I think he spent all night sleeping as far as possible from the shiny Alien Bowl.
This morning I poured his dog food into the bowl, then sprinkled it with yummy people food–our dogs LOVE our leftovers. Charley wouldn’t go near it.
Knowing that last night, Babe had no compunctions about marching into his bed and stealing his food, when I went out, I had to keep Babe in the kitchen to stop her from dominating Charley’s area. I also had to drape a blanket over the x-pen to keep her from standing on the other side and barking at the bowl. (Hey! Food! Come over here! Now! Talking to you!)
Finally, this afternoon–when I knew poor Charley had to be starving–he put his front feet into the bed and leaned toward his bowl. (I’d just poured warm sausage gravy over his kibble.)
With his back knees knocking together, he took his first bite . . . and realized that the evil bowl isn’t so evil, after all.
Bless his heart. My 200-pound wimp. 🙂
Aren’t we just like that sometimes, though? The Lord leads us to something new and different, and we hedge away, then finally approach with knees knocking . . . only to find there’s nothing at all to fear.
P.S. Just found out that the Borders edition of Heavenly Daze should be available in stores in early March . . . so spread the word! 🙂